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Insulin maker Novo Nordisk raises full-year targets

Danish pharmaceuticals group Novo Nordisk, the world’s leading insulin maker, said Wednesday it is raising its full-year profit targets after sales of its anti-obesity and diabetics treatments boosted its bottom line in the third quarter.

Danish pharmaceuticals group Novo Nordisk, the world’s leading insulin maker, said Wednesday it is raising its full-year profit targets after sales of its anti-obesity and diabetics treatments boosted its bottom line in the third quarter.

Novo Nordisk said in a statement that net profit rose by 18 per cent to 12.119 billion kroner (1.6 billion euros, $1.9 billion) in the period from July to September on a 15-per cent increase in sales to 35.622 billion kroner.

Taking the nine months through September, Novo Nordisk said its bottom line expanded by 12 per cent to 36.865 billion kroner and sales were up eight per cent at 102.5 billion kroner.

“We are very pleased with the sales growth in the first nine months of 2021 which has enabled us to raise our outlook for the full year,” said chief executive, Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen.

“The growth is driven by all geographical areas and by all therapy areas, in particular by accelerated growth of our portfolio of treatments for diabetes and obesity.”

Novo Nordisk said it is now projecting an increase of 12-15 per cent in both underlying, or operating, profit and sales for the full year, excluding exchange rate fluctuations.

The group commands a 47-per cent share of the global insulin market, where the United States has sharply reduced prices for anti-diabetics treatments recently.

The Danish drugmaker said its sales growth stems from its so-called GLP-1 drugs, an intestinal hormone that secretes insulin, where it holds a 52-per cent share of the global market.

In the US, the initial demand for its anti-obesity drug, Wegovy, “has significantly exceeded our expectations, underscoring the high unmet need for people living with obesity,” said CEO Fruergaard Jorgensen.

According to the estimates by the International Diabetes Federation, more than 460 million adults worldwide have diabetes, a number which is projected to increase to 580 million in 2030 and 700 million in 2045.

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